Sir: Sir Bruce Pattullo, governor of the Bank of Scotland, has been vilified for drawing attention to the long-term dangers of higher taxation in Scotland and his bank is now being blackmailed because he exercised his right of free speech. Tommy Graham MP has been pressured into cancelling the press conference designed to clear his name. The report on alleged corruption in Glasgow has been shelved until after the devolution referendum on 11 September. There is no doubt that Labour opponents of devolution, and there are many, are being pressured into staying silent. Is this democracy?
This morning (28 August) Donald Dewar, Secretary of State for Scotland, sacked me from the Scottish Economic Council, no doubt being aware of my involvement in Think Twice and as a warning to other industrialists to shut up.
Think Twice was formed to promote democratic debate and to argue for a No, No vote. We have been denied any form of government assistance and, in particular, free postage, on the grounds that the debate is not political. The Government has, however, obviously used large sums of taxpayers' money to promote their case. Is this democracy?
Many of the letters I have received make it clear that the donors did not vote Conservative last May and come from people who believe the arguments of Alex Salmond MP, leader of the Scottish National Party, that a Labour- dominated Scottish parliament is a stepping-stone to independence and a break-up of the UK.
Sir MATTHEW GOODWIN
Treasurer, Think Twice